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5 April 2007, 04:31 pm
BROMBY And The Beat
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Star Western Hemisphere Championship 2007
Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

On day three of the ISAF Grade C1 Star Western Hemisphere Championship in Tampa Bay, USA, Peter BROMBY and Bill MCNIVEN (BER) had three of their signature starts from the pin end of the line. They read the shifts and the pressure and rounded the first weather mark in each of the three races in the lead and held on for bullets in two of them, to close the gap on leaders Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM (SWE).
For the third day in a row sailors arrived at Davis Island Yacht Club to find a glassy Tampa Bay. Races were postponed on shore until there was a sign of breeze. Wind readings on the Race Committee boat and the on the weather mark boat varied enough so that it took a long time for the Race Committee to reach agreement and set the weather mark at 285 degrees.

The conditions did nothing to stop BROMBY and MCNIVEN, who may well have won all three races had it not been for a fouled jib halyard that distracted them and let their competition get to their right after the final leeward mark rounding of the second race. The Bermudians allowed eleven boats to pass them up the final beat. They finished the day with a 1,11,1.

BROMBY and MCNIVEN seem to have perfected sailing in flat water and shifty conditions. 'It bears a striking resemblance to Hamilton Harbour. I'm used to trimming hard, keeping the boat flat and pointing a little higher than most. It's when the wind comes on and there are a lot of waves when I start to have some problems,' admitted BROMBY. LOOF, who had a 2,5,2 for the day, said sailing conditions were 'very tricky and shifty'. The wind, 'was very hard to predict. It was tough out there, but it was a great day of sailing.'

Others who managed to stay at the top of the fleet as the wind picked up to top out at about 12 knots include: Eivind MELLEBY and Petter MORLAND PEDERSON (NOR), Rohan LORD and Miles ADDY (NZL), Iain MURRAY and Andrew PALFREY (AUS) and Andy MACDONALD and Mike WOLFS (USA).

Lynn Fitzpatrick (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Fredrik LOOF and Anders EKSTROM:© Gil Williams
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